Carleton: How much bullpenning could a team do?

From Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus on November 15, 2018:

Once again, we find ourselves in the warm afterglow of the playoffs, with people getting ready to hail our new bullpenning overlords. The starter is dead, or at least wounded. We no longer need the guy who goes five or six innings. He’s a thing of the past. Give me 18 good batters faced and get off the mound. Or just two innings. We’ll do the whole game that way!

Please repeat after me.

“The playoffs are different.”

“The playoffs are different.”

“The playoffs are different.”

Pitcher use really is changing, whether it’s the slow downward creep of the number of innings pitched by starters over the last few decades or the arrival of new roles like The Opener, but there seems to be an idea floating around that the traditional “three times through the order” starter is something baseball will slowly be moving past.

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Originally published: November 15, 2018. Last Updated: November 15, 2018.